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ABOUT CHIANG MAI (CM)

CM is located in the northern area of Thailand. It is second in size only to Bangkok. However, there is not much in the way of nightlife here, although some does exist. Rather, CM offers more of a laid-back, more traditional Thai atmosphere. Prices for goods and services tend to be cheaper than in Bangkok and Pattaya, and you'll find far fewer people who can speak English.

WHEN TO VISIT
The best time to visit is during the high season (Nov. to Feb.), when weather is brisk and cool.

TRANSPORTATION

Bus
This is the least-expensive means (300-400 Baht), but the journey takes 14 hours and the seating is cramped. Better to fly or take the train.

Train
You can take the overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai. The train departs from Bangkok around 5 or 6 p.m. Check departure time with your travel agent. You will arrive in the early morning.

Tickets
There are three tickets: 1st class (air con/sleeper), 2nd class (air-con/sleeper) and 3rd class (no assigned seating, no air-con, no sleeping).

Comfort Tips
Get an overnight sleeper 2nd class AC. These are quieter than the fan cars, since on fan cars the windows are open. There is no smoking on AC cars. If you smoke you may want to ride in a fan car with the window open.

Also, to try to get a seat/berth in the middle of the car. Berths over the wheels at both ends are noisy and can keep you from sleeping.

If you take the train during high season , know that it gets cold! Wear long pants and a sweat shirt or long sleeve shirt.

Security Tips
While you sleep, keep all valuables on your person, under your shirt or pants. Don't keep them in your bags where others can get at them.

Padlock all your bags.

Use a small bicycle chain to secure your bags to the bedside or a pole whereby it can't be taken.

Don't flash valuables on the train, especially cash or gold.

Limit what you carry. Keep valuables back at your hotel safe deposit box in Bangkok or wherever you are stationed for the majority of your trip.

If you have a camera, or other similar valuables, place it between the wall and yourself while you sleep.

Arrival
Walk out towards the outer parking lot of the train station. Taxi drivers are waiting to take you to your hotel. The fare is about 40 baht, depending on your bargaining skills.

Air
Flying is the fastest (1 hour) and most expensive (1700 Baht, one way) means to get to CM. Almost any travel agent can get you a ticket to fly via Bangkok Airways.

GETTING AROUND TOWN

Motorcycle
If you want to rent one (100-150 Baht), you'll find rental shops all over town.

Red Taxi
The red taxi ("song tau" in Thai, meaning "two row seater") is similar to the blue taxis in Pattaya. There are the basic means of getting around town for the local Thais. The fare is 10 baht per person, but may be slightly higher (20 baht) if you ask the driver to take you out of his path.

Tuk Tuks
You will find them in just about every city in Thailand. They can be a fast and convenient way to get around town, but the drivers will typically ask double or triple the going rate, so bargain down the price at least by half.

NIGHTLIFE

Regular Bars
Mostly located on Kotchasarn Road and vicinity.

Spotlight Bar
Here you may find some attractive dancers and waitresses. However, there are no sex shows or nudity. The 3-4 girls who rotate on stage wear uniforms (long boots, G-string, mini skirt or shorts, and halter top). The bar fine is 500 Baht for for the dancers (300 Baht after 11 p.m.) and the waitresses. Expect to pay 1000 baht for short time, add 500 for all night.

Bunny Night Club
186/1 Loi Kroh Road
WEBSITE

Beer Bars

The Beer Bar Center (located down the street from the Montri hotel) has a small cluster of bars.

BROTHELS
A few establishments are located off Kotchasarn Toad. Three-hundred to 600 Baht is the typical short-time rate. Women tend to be older and less attractive than those working in in Pattaya or Bangkok.

Sayuri Complex
3 Soi 2 Bumrungat Road, across the river

It offers a snooker club, a Thai-style coffee shop, and a clinic for traditional health massage. Sex-related massage for 1500 Baht/session. You can get there via tuktuk.

Trip Report

MASSAGE PARLORS
There are several traditional Thai massage parlors in CM, but they allow no sex. You may, if you have some command of the Thai language, be able to talk one of the masseuses into your hotel room at midnight after she gets off from work, provided you give her a small tip (20-40 Baht) and a business card from your hotel.

OTHER THINGS TO DO
The CM area is a good area for those wanting to experience the cultural side of Thailand and see some fantastic scenery. Especially popular with tourists are the elephant camps, where you can trek through the jungle on an elephant. Outside the city there are other tourist attractions, such as the Snake Farm, the Butterfly Farm, and the Monkey Farm. You can also visit the factories where they make umbrellas, silver statues, and wood furniture.

LODGING
There are three ways to find lodging in CM. One, hire a taxi and let the driver take you around. He may only show you only those that give him commission. Two, use travel agents or read travel books. Three, walk around town and see the hotels for yourself. Here are some options:

Guest Houses
Along Kohjasan Road and vicinity are several of Guest Houses (i.e., mini hotels). The main advantage of a Guest House is the low price. Most establishments charge between 150-200 baht (under $5) per night. Most rooms are small with fan, no TV, and small Western-style shower and toilet. They are popular with backpackers on a budget. To find the Guest Houses, walk along the street where the Montri Hotel is (see below) and you'll see signs advertising them.

NOTE: The owners of these establishments frown on bringing women back to your room. If you and your guest prove to be disruptive, prepared to be asked to leave the next day.

Montri Hotel
Ten-minute ride from the train station in Chiang Mai, where most of the bars are located. Rooms are nice and affordable.

President Hotel
Centrally located, a 10-minute walk from the Montri hotel
350 Baht/night Rooms have central air conditioning, TV (with Cinemax), shower, and a large bed.
4th floor massage parlor upstairs. Rate is 1200 Baht for a 90-minute massage (sex included) or 500 baht for a traditional massage (no sex). 10 ladies to choose from. Open noon till midnight.
Thai-style high-class restaurant/bar downstairs frequented by attractive women. However, you must speak Thai to communicate even the most basic.
Inexpensive restaurant open until 2 a.m. Pad Thai noodles: 40 Baht.

Suriwongse Hotel
Next to the night market across from MacDonald's and next to StarBucks.
Rates are 1000 Baht and up.
Lunch buffet 120 Baht, Chinese dinner buffet 99 Baht.

Top North Hotel
Moon Muang Road, across the moat from Kotchasarn Road

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zenbuckaroo
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Username: Zen

Post Number: 1
Registered: 7-2005

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Posted on Sunday, July 24, 2005 - 9:00 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

President Hotel Nightclub...open early with the 'singers' coming in about 2PM. A few do speak English and will sit with you for the price of you sharing your food and drinks with them. Tips in the form of 'Leighs' with hundred baht notes attached guarantee their return to your table when they go to stage to perform.

Girls are not the young neophyte types but older and more sophisticated looking for those who would like a respite from go go scene.
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zenbuckaroo
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Username: Zen

Post Number: 6
Registered: 7-2005

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Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2005 - 10:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I noticed that I am supposed to have two posts here. But neither showed up. I will do a short one here and if this one works will do others later.
PRESIDENT HOTEL. A bit out of the way from Kotchasarn Road and Moon Muang (by the moat on the East Side). Rooms are a bit run down…very run down actually… but air conditioned and a good price for budget travelers.

The night club is very interesting with some really outstanding girl. The go go phenomenon is a western invention and although some Asian do go, most prefer their amateur singers in the ‘sing a song’ night clubs to the amateur dancers in the go go clubs. The average girl in these places sings about as well as the average go go girl dances, but they look much classier in they nice gowns and dresses.

A few do speak enough English to communicate with, but they are not likely to be the ones you most want to talk to so you are stuck with one of two options. Learn Thai or get an interpreter.

Basically you just invite a girl or two over to your table…more if there are several of you; and order lots of food and drinks. The girls love to eat together (anywhere in Thailand it is a custom to buy food for people you like…)

If there is a special girl you like, when she goes onstage you buy her a Leigh ..
In most clubs in
Thailand the leigh has a set price and you buy one or several. The girl gets a commission from them. In The President they attach hundred bath bills. High rollers will make out by attaching several to a leigh.

IF you are staying at the hotel…and the girl is likely to ask you if she thinks she would like to make double backed beasts with you… she might make plans to sneak off between sets of her songs. Otherwise you will need to make plans for when she gets off. (of work that is) You will not find any cheap honeys here. Of course it depends on what you compare it to.

Compared to a girl in Tj who is just barely decent to look at and you pay 60 or 70 dollars plus the room …usually about $11 or $12 ..The girls are a pretty good deal. Compared to a quickie on Soi Six Pattaya, they might seem expensive.

It seems strange that such a run down hotel has some of the classiest party girls in Chiang Mai, but keep in mind that if you can afford to spend a bit, speaking Thai is not necessary. My good buddy who is a rich German doesn’t even speak English very good but makes out quite well by throwing a few bath around… Food tips etc. and if you DO have money… you can always stay somewhere else.. and rent one of the rooms like a shorttime room (what the Thai business men do)
Rooms are only 350 baht… a bit les than Ten dollars at today’s exchange rate. And less that a 30 minute room in Tijuana (TJ). And you can stay as long as you want up to 24 hours.
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zenbuckaroo
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Username: Zen

Post Number: 7
Registered: 7-2005

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Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2005 - 10:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

a POST SCRIPT from Zen...
on most afternoons when I am not out of town you can catch me in the President Night Club...having some Pad Thai (if I am hungry) or just a cold beer if I am not. I am usually alone, and the one sitting at the very front of the stage gawking hopelessly at the girls.
I cannot afford my own, but window shopping is still fun. Invite me to your table for food and drinks and I can help translate a bit for you.
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zenbuckaroo
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Username: Zen

Post Number: 8
Registered: 7-2005

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Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2005 - 10:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

SinceI live in Chiang Mai I would like to write a abit more if I knew how to divide the information in threads...

By the way...I know what most guide books say...but actually Chiang Mai is third in size to Bangkok and Korat...My girlfrind from Nakorn Ratchisima (Korat) informed me. I didn't believe her and went to google it...she was right.

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